An extreme thermophilic ethanol-producing strain was isolated from an ethanol high-yielding mixed culture, originally isolated from a hydrogen producing reactor operated at 70 °C. Ethanol yields were assessed with increasing concentrations of xylose, up to 20 g/l. The ability of the strain to grow without nutrient addition (yeast extract, peptone and vitamins) was also assessed. The maximum ethanol yield achieved was 1.28 molethanol/molxylose consumed (77% of the theoretical yield), at 2 g/l of initial xylose concentration. The isolate was able to grow and produce ethanol as the main fermentation product under most of the conditions tested, including in media lacking vitamins, peptone and yeast extract. The results indicate that this new organism is a promising candidate for the development of a second generation bio-ethanol production process.
Keywords: anaerobic, bioethanol, extreme thermophilic